At the end of the 1990s, technology was going to save (change) the world. And despite the dot-com fortunes that were made and lost overnight, technology did change (save) the world for a lot of folks. I was one of them. Technology gave me access to groups and cultures that I would never have come into contact with. It opened my eyes to a larger world, and made me feel part of a global community.
I think it is important that we recognize the immense role that technology plays in our everyday lives, and the impact it will have on future generations.
Equally important is how we use (or are used by) technology, and how we teach others to use (or be used by) these technologies. Information sharing, computer and media technology is vital to our society. It is easy to find oneself a slave to these technologies, especially when it's your job to help others understand how to navigate the Information Age World.
As technology professionals, I believe it is our job to be responsible with the technologies that we master so easily. I think it is important that we understand not only how some new gadget or software package works, but why it works. We have to think about the moral and ethical implications of the technologies we teach. Not just "is this possible" but "is this right?" We need to see not just two steps down the road, but ten. Otherwise, we are no better than an instruction manual.
Required Reading/Viewing for Technology Professionals
The Moral Economy of Web 2.0
The Machine Stops by E. M. Forster
The Machine is Us/Ing Us
A Farewell to Arms
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Internet